Monday, January 25, 2010

Nothing is What It Seems

How often does our mind lock some random notion as absolute? We just decided once and forever that we like something, or dislike something and follow our preferences without second-guessing them - simply because at some point n years ago we labeled them in a certain way.

These days I happen to revisit so many of my previously set views, trying to question them in a manner of “what if the opposite holds true?” What if all this time I was holding on to the dumbest misconceptions that presented my biggest self-imposed limitations? Maybe it’s time to doubt everything I believe in order to see behind the horizon? The biggest problem with preconceived notions is that they distort our perception: it’s like we’ve placed too many “stop” signs and now we bump into them wherever we go, which greatly limits the amount of directions we can take.

It starts with small things – let’s say you try avocado for the first time, don’t really “get” its taste and declare that you don’t like it. If at some point you reconsider and have a new attempt of taste-testing, you might be surprised that you actually like it this time around. If not – you won’t have a pleasure of savoring so many wonderful dishes that contain avocado. Which is not that big of a deal, but this kind of limitations add up, and before you know it – you realize how few things you enjoy in life. You find that you lack happiness, because there are not enough things that you truly like, - you try to find your way out of your misery cave, but you stumble with every step – remember your “stop”-signs? You don’t remember why they are here, but you are still convinced it’s for a valid reason.

What if it concerns a bigger side of your life? You decide you are not made for parenthood (in fact you’d make the happiest mom or dad ever), or that your dead-end job is the best you can do (and you never make a move to prove otherwise), or that living with the person you don’t love is the only option because you happen to have a child together?

It is always safer to put a “stop” sign by default. But then we get too busy with life to go back and think again, weighing all the pros and cons, considering all the possibilities. And knocking down all the “stop”signs at once is quiet a daunting task too – but you can do that little by little, one by one. You will be surprised how many “go” signs should have been there instead.

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